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Old 05-11-2014, 09:13 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Building a gaming laptop?

Hello,

I was thinking of building a laptop for gaming, which I now realise is almost impossible. Can anyone clarify, whether building a gaming laptop is possible or not?

Many people say that you can buy the parts and the barebones laptop, then fit them in, but I can't find anything similar to buy, even on ebay for a decent price. I would also need the motherboard for that particular barebones laptop, which would then limit compatibility, which means I need a new barebones laptop that would have a new motherboard so it would have compatibility with the new hardware and so on and on. The more I get into it, the more I doubt that it's possible.

Buying a gaming laptop is a complete waste of money, I'd rather travel to france to skii for a month for the same 2 grand that I'd pay for a laptop. The price is just silly. I have built a gaming desktop for 1200 pounds with i7, 780gtx overclocked, watercooling, 8gb of dual channeled RAM, 64gb SSD and a 24" monitor = no sound, awesome graphics that would last at least a decade with maybe an upgrade to SLI if the games improve a lot.

2000 pounds for i7 and some mediocre video card is just completely dumb, I don't even need quad core processor to play most of the games and some stupid Windows 8 PRO for a 140pounds just makes it look completely ridiculous... Apparently, according to Alienware, a medium-range gaming laptop has i5 processor, 320gb of hdd space and 4 gb of ram, who the hell cares about some hard space or ram that I can buy for several pounds???? I bet I couldn't get a stable 100fps on Dishonored or AC4.

Let's buy an "ultrabook" (another stupid term made by advertisers for laptops that do nothing and cost thousands) with touch screen and the screen that flips! Would be a nice toy for a kid to play with, since it's useless for anything else apart from flipping the screen.

Sorry to make this into a rant, but I just had to get this off my shoulders Is it possible?

EDIT: Oh and I want a laptop, because I'm travelling a lot.
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Old 05-12-2014, 12:53 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: Building a gaming laptop?

Ultrabook is actually an official term with requirements set by intel.
Ultrabook - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Many people don't seem to understand that an ultrabook is an actual specification and use it as a generic term for thin and or efficient laptop. I have even seen AMD laptops advertised as ultrabooks lol.

Regarding building your own laptop component by component in a similar way to a desktop, I do not believe that it is possible. You will run into issues like you mentioned regarding fitting a motherboard in a laptop case. Also, I have not found laptop "shells" that come new and are meant for installing custom components similar to desktop towers. Another issue even if you could do that would be GPU and CPU selection seeing as they are often itnegrated into the motherboard. There is also thermal design considerations in such a cramped compartment, and limited power resources. The issues go on and on with trying to build a custom laptop from a component level at this time.
Your best (and I believe only) option if you require a high end laptop is to buy a prebuilt one.
CyberPowerPC and IBuyPower offer some nice options.
http://www.cyberpowerpc.com/category/notebook/
Featured Gaming Laptops: iBUYPOWER® Gaming PC

What is your budget, and what in particular will you be using this laptop for?
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Old 05-12-2014, 02:26 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: Building a gaming laptop?

Thanks for the reply. My budged is about 600 pounds which is roughly 1000 dollars. I would like to use it for gaming mainly, I also do multimedia work and cpu-heavy code compiling, but I don't want extremely good speeds at that. Basically, I'm looking for a gaming laptop.

I was looking at some acer laptops that have NVIDIA GeForce DEDICATED graphic cards and i5 processors, mainly Aspire V3-772G NX.M74EK.008, which seems to be quite a good laptop, it doesn't have a ridiculous amount of RAM (32gb lol?) and other stupid features that get the price up to 1000pounds in other models. However the graphics card is only GeForce GT 750M, which is quite an old one and will not probably run many games. I also would like an SSD, as I enjoy extreme multitasking when I'm not playing games. I would like to have a fast OS and other programs, not so much for game loading times though.

I have never used a high-end graphics card on a laptop before, do you think I could play games like Dishonored, AC4, Bioshock, COD Ghosts SP etc. on at least a stable 70 fps? I highly doubt it, even with a NVIDIA Geforce GTX 880M.

EDIT: following the carnageX reply, I can now agree that CyberPower and IBuyPower are the best along with MSI. Really appreciate the help guys.
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Old 05-12-2014, 02:41 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: Building a gaming laptop?

I play games with my MSI GT780DX pretty smoothly. Got it used for <$800; i7-2670qm, 12GB RAM, and a GTX 570m. I've played Titanfall, Skyrim, AC4, and lots of others either on high or medium-high mixed quality (depending on how demanding the game was). I'm also a developer (Visual Studio 2012, C# / ASP.NET mainly) - the Hyperthreaded i7 is nice for compiling.

The thing I will stress the most is cooling. Get a laptop with a good cooling system. I had an Asus G73jh before my MSI, and it's cooling isn't the greatest - I ended up having to prop up the laptop and have a desk fan blowing cool air underneath it, otherwise games like Skyrim would cause it to shutdown from hitting the thermal threshold. My MSI doesn't do that because it has a "cooler booster" functionality, which allows me to manually control the fan speed and set it to 100% max and keep it cool.

The CyberPower and IBuyPower lines are good, because they're basically re-branded MSI laptops (the shell is the same as MSI's GT gaming line - including the chassis touch-buttons and cooler-booster, so that's why I say they're rebranded MSI's). If you're not against buying used, definitely look into a used gaming laptop. I've gotten both of my gaming laptops for <$800 each (Asus was a refurb, MSI was a used purchase from another forum); easily worth $1200+ when they were BNIB.

Looking at the Acer you mentioned... looks like it is a "thin" gaming laptop and most likely won't keep very cool during gaming sessions.
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Old 05-12-2014, 03:14 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: Building a gaming laptop?

Thanks carnageX for the information about the cooling, really got me thinking about that. Would you say that MSI (and the CyberPower and IBuyPower) would be the best for gaming? I have seen some good reviews about most of their gaming laptops. Do all CyberPower and IBuyPower laptops have the MSI-like features?

I just saw a video on youtube, demonstrating the fan boosting you were talking about on a MSI laptop and it's hilarious I've never seen a laptop fan spinning at that speed, but It's a must-have feature when I think about it. Thanks for pointing that out.

Where can I buy a used laptop? I live in UK, so I only have ebay as far as I know, which is a horrible place to buy anything in my opinion. I don't mind paying additional 10-20pounds for shipping if the laptop is what I want and cheaper.
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Old 05-12-2014, 03:34 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Default Re: Building a gaming laptop?

Quote:
Originally Posted by LegendPanda View Post
Thanks carnageX for the information about the cooling, really got me thinking about that. Would you say that MSI (and the CyberPower and IBuyPower) would be the best for gaming? I have seen some good reviews about most of their gaming laptops. Do all CyberPower and IBuyPower laptops have the MSI-like features?
Not all of them, but quite a few of them do. Just look at the chassis and compare it to MSI models of similar specs, and if they're re-branded MSI's, then the chassis will be the same.

Quote:
I just saw a video on youtube, demonstrating the fan boosting you were talking about on a MSI laptop and it's hilarious I've never seen a laptop fan spinning at that speed, but It's a must-have feature when I think about it. Thanks for pointing that out.
It's definitely worth it. It's a bit noisy, but speakers in the MSI's are decent for laptop speakers (small subwoofer in the front for a bit of bass as well..nothing spectacular, but a bit better range of sound) will drown out the sound while gaming (or just wear headphones ). Cooling is the biggest thing I let people know about when buying a gaming laptop... most people tend to forget about it, which is a shame. If you have all those high-end parts in such a cramped space... you still need to cool them somehow. That's why I like the MSI line. My Asus would run games at around 70*C GPU temp while on load (with the auto fan it has on "high", and after I re-applied new thermal paste)... My MSI keeps it down to about 55-60*C GPU temp.

The MSI GT series are also extremely easy to disassemble if you have to re-apply thermal paste or clear dust from the fan/heatsink (both of which should be done). Re-apply thermal paste once in a while if you notice temps increasing during gaming when they used to be lower; cleaning the fan should be done regularly (weekly/monthly basis? Depends on how much dust it accumulates there).

Quote:
Where can I buy a used laptop? I live in UK, so I only have ebay as far as I know, which is a horrible place to buy anything in my opinion. I don't mind paying additional 10-20pounds for shipping if the laptop is what I want and cheaper.
That's a good question. Craigslist, eBay, possibly Amazon for reburb's or used ones, or other tech message boards that have a Buy/Sell/Trade section (I bought my MSI from [H]ardForum).
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Old 05-12-2014, 04:03 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Default Re: Building a gaming laptop?

Just an update, here is a UK cyberpower, and ibuypower does not seem to ship to the UK.
https://www.cyberpowersystem.co.uk/category/laptop
Those MSI laptops look great, but I can't find them under about 750 euros and having a GT 740M or better.
If you want the highest performance for the dollar, a used or refurb as carnageX suggested may be best. One nice thing about refurbished is that they usually come with 30-30 day warranty, and some are a year.
I know that you prefer to aboid ebay, but this may be worth consideration.
LENOVO Y510p Gaming Laptop. Haswell i7-4700MQ 8GB 1TB NVIDIA GT750M 2GB DVDRW HD | eBay
about 650 euros after import prices if I did the conversions right. It has a warranty until Feb next year, but I would ask the seller or lenovo if they support the warranty if shipped to UK.
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Old 05-12-2014, 04:05 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Default Re: Building a gaming laptop?

Quote:
Originally Posted by carnageX View Post
Not all of them, but quite a few of them do. Just look at the chassis and compare it to MSI models of similar specs, and if they're re-branded MSI's, then the chassis will be the same.
If laptops from CyberPower and IBuyPower are re-branded MSI's, wouldn't it make sense to buy the laptops straight from MSI?

EDIT: I've also found many negative opinions about CyberPower, too many for them to be scam/fake. I'd rather pay more than take my chances.
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Old 05-12-2014, 04:40 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Default Re: Building a gaming laptop?

Quote:
Originally Posted by GhOsT1321 View Post
Just an update, here is a UK cyberpower, and ibuypower does not seem to ship to the UK.
https://www.cyberpowersystem.co.uk/category/laptop
Those MSI laptops look great, but I can't find them under about 750 euros and having a GT 740M or better.
If you want the highest performance for the dollar, a used or refurb as carnageX suggested may be best. One nice thing about refurbished is that they usually come with 30-30 day warranty, and some are a year.
I know that you prefer to aboid ebay, but this may be worth consideration.
LENOVO Y510p Gaming Laptop. Haswell i7-4700MQ 8GB 1TB NVIDIA GT750M 2GB DVDRW HD | eBay
about 650 euros after import prices if I did the conversions right. It has a warranty until Feb next year, but I would ask the seller or lenovo if they support the warranty if shipped to UK.
After reading CyberPower reviews, I'd rather not take my chances with them. I have been sitting with my dad's acer aspire 5733 without a graphics card for about 2 years now and I've finally got some money to buy a decent system. Wouldn't like to take chances at this point and leave sitting with this laptop.

The ebay laptop that you found was exceptional, but it's worth 492.87pounds and I will be paying 492.87 + 22.70postage + 112.66import = 628.23, so I literally threw away 135.36 pounds. Anyway, I will definitely have a look at ebay, I didn't think such things existed there Thanks for proving me wrong.

EDIT: What is the catch here? I've been trying to find one all morning.
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Old 05-13-2014, 09:36 AM   #10 (permalink)
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Default Re: Building a gaming laptop?

Only catch I saw was that it only has a GTX 850m... but according to benchmarks:
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 850M - NotebookCheck.net Tech

It looks like it could perform fairly decently (scroll down to the Games Benchmark section). Mostly medium quality for most games, some high. Could probably get away with a mix of medium/high settings for most games.

Note that the one you found is a bid item though, and it could go up from 600 quite easily, since there's still 3 days left.
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